Ed Dickson, TE, Oregon
Weight: 243 pounds
40 time: 4.73
A terrific athlete at the tight end position, Dickson possesses the speed, agility, and athleticism that you look for in a wide receiver, yet he has the size to create excellent matchup problems for defenses at the next level.
Dickson leaves Oregon as the school’s all-time leading receiver at the tight end position with 124 catches for 1,557 yards and 12 touchdowns.
A reliable receiver with nice hands, Dickson has the ability to stretch the seam, can sit down in the short-to-intermediate routes, and he can also get down the field and outside of the numbers as a receiver. He’s shown that he has the ability to go up the ladder and grab the ball out of the air with great ball skills and body control.
As a run blocker, Dickson isn’t quite a finished product, however he’s a better blocker than you’d think for a spread tight end whose known for making plays in the passing game. Because he moved around a lot in Oregon’s spread offense, he does have experience blocking out on the move and in open space. Athletically, he’s also a very strong player, consider he’s only the second tight end in school history to bench press 400 pounds; he’s also tied for second in the all-time power clean mark for the tight end position at 341 lbs.
Dickson doesn’t have many glaring holes in his game, however he is going to need to continue to work as a blocker in the run game; he has experience as an in-line blocker, but he’s not far enough along in this area yet to be counted on right away at the next level as a blocker. Refining his route running and continuing to work on creating separation at the line of scrimmage are two other small things that he could stand to focus on at the next level.
I project that Dickson will be drafted in the third-to-fourth round. Dickson is a very talented player who actually played defensive end early in his career with the Ducks. He has the chance to be a dangerous player for the team that drafts him, assuming he continues to develop as a prospect.
With the amount of spread offenses and wide-open aerial attacks in the NFL today, landing a player like Dickson and placing him in the slot could be very beneficial for a team in the NFL. He’s versatile enough to move around and be used at a number of positions as well. I think that Dickson will develop into a starter at the next level, and at the very least, he could be a nice, reliable target for a quarterback on passing downs. He also has experience on special teams and could be a lot of help here as well.
Notes: Dickson was named first-team All-Pac 10 as a senior and second-team All-Pac 10 as a junior. In high school, Ed also played linebacker in addition to tight end.
More and more NFL teams are looking to their tight ends as an opportunity to create a mismatch in the secondary, especially if they run them out of the slot. Dickson, a spread formation tight end in college, is ideally suited for such a role. At 6-5 and 243 he’s too big for most defensive backs to handle, and his speed makes him difficult for linebackers to cover. He flashed plenty of athleticism at the Combine, maybe even enough to bump him into the bottom of the second round.
Dickson isn’t just a one-trick pony, either. He’s strong enough to be an adequate in-line blocker and did enough as a downfield blocker at Oregon that he won’t be a liability in most NFL running games. The only scouting report flaw that might prevent him from seeing work early in his career is concern that he’ll struggle with an NFL-sized playbook after running the limited route tree of a spread. But given that his role won’t be all that different from what the Ducks asked him to do, Dickson is at minimum an intriguing developmental dynasty tight end who could reward the proper team with a mismatch creator in the Jermichael Finley mold.